The U.S. government banned the use of asbestos over 20 years ago. Notwithstanding that ban, asbestos continues to appear in various substances, like talcum powder, and cause cancer among other chronic illnesses.EHS Today reports that asbestos production is lawful in 100 countries in the world currently despite the well-documented dangers asbestos presents to humans. Asbestos is no longer the miracle substance that people once believed it to be.
Asbestos was found everywhere because of its ability to resist heat and electricity. Hundreds of consumer goods touted asbestos as the main ingredient because of its wondrous powers. To be sure, asbestos provided a substantial benefit to consumers. Asbestos was even used as decorative snow because it would not catch fire if it came in contact with heat sources like candles.
The 1960s signaled the end of asbestos as a ubiquitous substance. However, companies continued to rely upon asbestos to produce many common household items like ironing boards, hairdryers, and other home goods that heated, as well as brake shoes, ashtrays, and laboratory equipment. One retired hairdresser contracted mesothelioma from repairing hairdryers throughout his career. These were hairdryers laded with asbestos.
Even after brown and blue asbestos was banned in the early-1980s, people believed that white asbestos was harmless. Beer crafters would sift their brew with tools made out of white asbestos. Some bartenders were known to throw the substance in beer to clean it.
People thought that asbestos was finally eradicated as a component of consumer goods until female plaintiffs sued Johnson & Johnson because the talcum powder manufactured by the company contained asbestos and made women sick from cancer. Johnson & Johnson lost a $4.7 million verdict earlier in 2019 after a jury found in favor of the plaintiffs who contracted cancer after using asbestos-laced talcum powder. Even though Johnson & Johnson disputes the validity of the jury verdict, the company recently issued a recall for makeup that contained traces of asbestos.
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